Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Get fit...not frustrated.

I drove past my own street again today. Fail. And also quite frustrating. I'm beginning to think I fall under the category of "distracted driver." Better get that under control before Baby becomes precious cargo. (Well, I guess it already is.)

Speaking of frustrating, I thought we might discuss the trials and tribulations of working out to meet certain goals, be they weight loss or strength goals. Maybe you're training for an event and not making the strides you want to. Maybe you're trying to lose a specific amount of weight each week. Whatever you've set yourself up to, you've probably had at least one moment along the way where all feels completely and totally and utterly lost. You know you shouldn't give up, but you just want to pull out your hair.

All thoughts of "why keep going if nothing is changing/getting better" creep in and consume you. Don't let them. Seriously, you can work through those thoughts. And whatever plateaus you've encountered.

6 Ways to Overcome Frustration at the Gym
1) Reevaluate your goals. You won't lose five pounds every day, nor will you run a marathon in two weeks if you've just started running. So making the commitment to do just that is basically a setup for failure. When it seems like you just can't meet your goals, stop and ask yourself if your goals need to be changed. Or if maybe you need to set up mini goals. Hey, there's nothing wrong with making little accomplishments in an effort to overcome that big goal. And there's nothing wrong with changing up that big goal to make it more attainable. Once you reevaluate, you can refocus. Frustration gone.

2) Take a break. Seriously, if you aren't building in rest days...you have to. Our bodies get to a certain point where they just can't take it anymore. That's when we get hurt. Or hit plateaus. To truly make advancements in the gym, you have to allow your body time to rest and recuperate. On the other hand, your mind could need a break from the gym, too. That's what vacations are for. Momentary pauses that allow us to regroup. And we often need to regroup at the gym, too. No vacation in line for you? Just take a week off. Or just a few days. Come back when you're excited about hitting the gym again.

3) Seek help. Speak to a personal trainer. Hire one if you've got the budget. Remember, personal trainers are trained to know the ins and outs of workin' out. To assess you and to tell you what could and shouldn't be changed. You never know if what you're doing is wrong. You could be setting yourself up for all that failure and frustration without even knowing it. Maybe your old favorite exercises aren't doing you any good anymore. Maybe your training schedule isn't outlined as best it could be. Go ahead, find that trainer. Most of them are more than willing...and usually very excited to...talk to you about your training methods. Some might insist that you pay, but I guarantee there's at least one at your gym that's willing to offer some free advice. Why? Because they love their industry.

4) Find a workout buddy. Partner up to make the most out of your workouts. Not only will you make time fly, you'll have someone at your side you can learn from—and confide in. Perhaps you'll come to call them your sounding board for all your frustrations at the gym. You know, 'cuz sometimes it's instantly relieving to just speak those frustrations out loud. And you never know what they'll say in response that might spark a change.

5) Plan accordingly. In multiple different ways. Plan to workout at a time that's most convenient to you, rather than a time that's just available because you have a free minute in between things. You should be able to enjoy your workout, not have to breeze through it because you're simply moving from one scheduled thing to another. When you rush a workout, it never feels good because you're more focused on getting to what's next, rather than what repetition you're on. And speaking of repetitions, it helps to plan in advance what you'd like to do in any given workout. You won't waste time, you'll know exactly where to start.

6) Expand your understanding of exercise. If you have a set-in-stone routine, the minute someone takes your machine is the minute frustration sets in. But YOU need that, and you need it right now...right? For any given exercise, there's probably at least three ways to perform it using three different pieces of equipment: Cable machine, free weights and exercise bands. And for every given muscle group, well...there's probably countless ways to attack it. So teach yourself new exercises so that you can keep going when the going is stopped by another exerciser.

Phew! Relaxed?

I am. I just noshed on a mini pumpkin smoothie.

I'm getting so into pumpkins right now. I know it's still a little early for thoughts of Halloween and Thanksgiving, but this hint of cool weather and falling leaves seriously makes me want all things pumpkin. The recipe: 

Mini Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup milk
1/2 6 oz. container vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 of 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Toss in a blender and blend away! It makes the perfect little snack-size smoothie, 'course you can double the ingredients if you'd like more of a meal.

Question: Is there anything you crave at this time of year? What's got you frustrated at the gym as of late?

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